Many right-wing Latin American terrorist groups during the 1980s, known as death squads, consisted usually of members of the armed forces who acted in an unofficial capacity to terrorize dissidents, generally with the implicit support or protection of high ranking officials. As private groups with overlapping memberships with the military, they were able to carry out a terror campaign on the government's behalf while giving the government a form of plausible deniability. The most famous victims of this campaign of death squad terrorism in El Salvador were four American nuns in 1980, and archbishop Oscar Romero also during that year. In a civil trail ending in July of 2002,a Miami, Florida jury found two former Salvadoran defense officials in the torture of three Salvadoran dissidents and ordered them to pay $54.6 million to the plaintiffs.
In many other cases, right-wing terrorists are among the least organized; most of them belong to various neo-Nazi groups.